baseball, poetry, and kim chi

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Demonstration on Campus

There is supposed to be a big demonstration at Yonsei University this weekend and continuing until the middle of next week. Seems the school received a fax that over 5,000 students from all over the country were going to descend on the campus starting on Sunday. The last time they did, back in the mid 90s, they took over buildings and set up barricades, and trashed the basketball court (god forbid. Leave the court out of it). The teachers who were here then said we might get our first smell of tear gas.

I asked my students if any of them were going to be protesting, and they assured me they weren’t. I was hoping that some of them would, and I suspect some of them will. how can you say no to the prospects of young revolutionary men and women?

No one is quite sure what to expect. The rally is supposed to be a celebration of Korea’s independence (the 15th of August), but these things usually turn into re-unification displays.

I am reading a book called The Two Koreas. Kim Il Sung made the comment that the students are the moral barometer of Korea. They are expected to take stands when the government is not behaving correctly. And, throughout Korean history, they have. His point was that while there are almost daily anti US protests, they are not any against North Korea.

yesterday while I was walking with a few of my students on our way to get more beer, I asked them to translate what was being said by the early arrivals, the protestors who just could not wait until Sunday. Mostly it was just, “Up with Korea.”, and, “USA out.”

Another thing the protestors are aiming to do is stir up the public sentiment over the letter “K”. Korea, when it began using Romanized text, spelled Korea, Corea. The Japanese changed it to K, bc C comes before J, or at least, that is what my students tell me. Anyway they want to change it back. Most Koreans do. However, think of how many billboards out there would have to be painted again. There are financial considerations involved. They also want the Sea of Japan to be called The East Sea. There is supposed to be historical evidence that its original name was The East Sea, and only recently it was changed, by the Japanese, to The Sea of Japan.

So all of this is going on on Yonsei campus this weekend. Riot Police. Students. JWG getting his drink on and hopefully staying out of trouble. Good excitement. The camera will be ready at all times. You will see what I see.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sr. Jim Goar,

We need a full report from the frontlines...so get on yr helmet and bring radio and get writing, son...

TEN HUH!

-the knight

8:39 AM

 

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